Petersburg’s library will cost substantially less than expected. The city opened five bids from construction firms late last week. The lowest was 3.9 million dollars from ASRC Mcgraw Constructors. That includes the basic project as well as optional features like better flooring and trim, concrete walks, and an asphalt parking area. Mcgraw’s bid was six hundred thousand dollars below the architect’s estimate. Librarian Tara Alcock was thrilled.

“We’re excited because I really didn’t imagine this would come in this reasonable and its just really exciting to see. So we plan to look at breaking ground fairly soon and substantial completion for the new library is scheduled for June of 2013,” she said.

Architect's rendering, courtesy Petersburg Public Library

Alcock expects the remaining funds will help pay for the construction manager as well as furnishings, equipment and landscaping for the new facility.

ASRC Mcgraw was formerly called Mcgraw Custom Construction of Sitka until Arctic Slope Regional Corporation purchased it earlier this year. Mcgraw has a long history of winning bids for Petersburg’s major projects. The firm built the Mountain View Manor assisted living wing, the Aquatic Center and most recently, the new firehall. The firehall bid also came in far below the architect’s estimate.

The library bids ranged from Mcgraw’s 3.9 million to North Pacific Erector’s 4.3 million including all the options. The council will award the contract during its next regular meeting Monday.